Hue Robertson

Retaining Talent

Dom Robertson, RPM’s Managing Director, believes that keeping employees engaged, passionate and motivated is key to staff retention. His comments, recently featured in the FT, are below.

Research proves that employees who are kept motivated, engaged and feel appreciated, work harder and stay with organisations for longer. In the past, one of the most common forms of employee engagement has traditionally been monetary rewards, such as performance related bonuses, incentive trips and pay rises. The current economic climate has limited this dramatically, meaning that companies have had to find new, more cost effective, ways to ensure employees stay motivated, engaged and loyal.

RPM is very focused on staff retention, (we have remained in the top 100 of The Sunday Times Best 100 Small Companies to Work For, for the last six years) and we devote a lot of time to ensuring our staff remain passionate and engaged with their work. This is managed through quarterly reviews by the HR department and the enlistment of a devoted social team, ‘The Social Monkeys’, who seek out opportunities for team bonding outings or other social occasions. Our Production Manager, Rory Sloan, began at RPM as a graduate 15 years ago. Similarly our Head of Strategy and Creative, Rob Wilson, has remained at RPM for 12 years, beginning as an intern.

In order to retain staff, RPM co-ordinate several initiatives including an annual company away day that shares with staff the direction in which the business is heading, delivers new and improved ways of working, and reinstates the company mission and values, usually delivered by the CEO, Financial Director and myself. The day is not only based around an open and honest showcase of the business, but also rewards the hard work achieved to date. The day includes Q&As and engaging team exercises to keep staff up to date with current client projects, ensuring that staff remain inspired, passionate and interested in the business. Special extras on the day have included entertainment from The Cuban Brothers, engaging industry speakers, and the creation of an RPM ‘all office’ music video.

At RPM we believe experiences are everything, and offer up to £1000 toward any staff member who wants to pursue an experience that will contribute to their current role or aid personal development. Each month, a fund is available and may be granted to help them fulfil an ambition. Experiences so far have included a photography trip to Tanzania, a wine tasting tour to the Rioja wine region, a trek to basecamp at Mount Everest and a typography course.We also recently launched the RPM Training Academy which seeks to utilise our in-house talent to educate fellow staff members on a variety of topics and skills. We pride ourselves on the talent within the agency and try to share it with others as much as possible. The training academy offers anything from photography courses to polishing up presentation skills and how to manage a creative brief.

I also believe it is important to recognise and reward hard work. Each week, our PR Manager co-ordinates a weekly newsletter that is circulated throughout the agency that specifically credits good work and initiative from staff members. There is also the opportunity for team heads to thank their teams for positive contributions they have had to projects